As students across the nation prepared to walk out of school to march for gun control, one California principal threatened to ban all participants from going to prom, causing the American Civil Liberties Union to intervene, KCBS-TV reported Friday.
On the anniversary of the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, students are walking out of schools the way they did on the one month anniversary of the mass murder at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
What's the story?
According to KCBS, principal Gerardo Llamas of South Gate High School said that students who walked out of school Friday would not be allowed to go to their prom on Saturday.
"If we were involved or we walked out tomorrow, we wouldn't be allowed to go into our prom," student Rachel Iribe said. "I would be walking out, regardless."
ACLU: 'Stop making these threats'
The ACLU sent a letter to principal Llamas warning him that the school should not excessively punish students for participating in the protest: "School officials may not punish a student's decision to have an unapproved absence to engage in political activity more harshly than a student's decision to cut class to hang out with his or her friends. Please immediately stop making these threats."
Changed his mind?
Apparently, the pressure had some impact. Llamas sent a recorded phone message to parents and students late Thursday to let them know there would be no punishment for the walkout.
"I think he was trying to do the right thing by trying to keep everybody in," student Tanary Robles told KCBS. "But I also think that he shouldn't stop us from doing what we want."
Thousands of students across the country walked out of their schools at 10 a.m., while other districts held demonstrations before the school day. Columbine High School typically observes the anniversary of the shooting with a day off.